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Top Asset Tracking Methods

Asset-Tracking
Digital Transformation

Top Asset Tracking Methods

Assets tracking points to discovering critical physical assets from procurement to disposal within a business environment. Tracking and management of assets play a critical role, especially if you’ve more than what you realized. 

Wondering why? 

Just imagine what if you’re investing in assets when you’ve a lot. This would definitely impact your business’ bottom-line. So, the ultimate idea is to utilize each and every asset used to the fullest throughout the project. Discovering the assets on the right time helps businesses to reduce the total cost of ownership and improves project completion rate. 

Just imagine this scenario: Company x is into building houses and they invest in a lot of assets like crowbars, rods, other materials, etc. 

Every project will have different project zones. The procured materials will be shared between all the project zones, only if the site managers were able to discover the assets/materials used and unused/misplaced.

Unavailability or failing to track the assets during a critical time of the project could hinder the project progress, resulting in the increased total cost of ownership and below-par customer satisfaction. And, this happens in most companies that doesn’t have asset tracking and management system in place. 

So, setting up a system to track the assets from procurement to disposal is recommended to save time and money. 

Before getting started with methods, I’d like to present to you some of the benefits of asset tracking. 

  • Only fewer resources involved free up the time of resources to focus on business growth
  • Helps to quickly and easily locate assets in real-time, anytime
  • Provides real-time reports on the position of each asset 
  • Increases the accuracy of your asset management
  • Helps to track and reduce asset loss and utilize assets effectively
  • Reduces TCO as assets don’t have to track manually
  • Improves efficiency
  • Enables to reassign assets between departments wisely and fully 
  • Ensures accountability and accuracy with asset loss and management
  • Immediately informs where your assets are allocated
  • Ensures regulatory compliance 

I know the next question you’d hit me up will be what are the different ways you can track assets. The sections below will answer your question. 

Here are some of the methods used for tracking assets. 

  • Manual
  • Bar codes
  • RFID
  • QR-code
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • IoT

Let’s see how each method works in detail in the below sections. 

Manual Tracking Method

Manual

Mostly pen & paper and spreadsheets are widely used in this method. It is one of the most time consuming and outdated methods. Yet some companies still use this method to track assets. Man-made errors and missed data are two potential threats when trying out this method.

Barcode scanner for asset management

Bar Codes

One of the widely used asset tracking methods of all time. As this is relatively simple to use, many enterprises focus on using bar codes to track the assets from one place to other. Cost-effectiveness, less training to users makes bar code a smart option. However, a huge set back is if the bar codes are tampered or not aligned in a straight line, you won’t be able to extract the asset data.

QR code scanner Asset Tracking Methods

QR-Codes

The advance of mobile applications has forced businesses to focus on QR-code technology to track assets. It is a simple technique and requires no training. Any user can create QR-codes in one click and track the assets using a mobile app scanner with absolute ease. Besides, this technology enables companies to manage asset orders and monitor track history as well.

RFID for Asset tracking

Radio Frequency Identification

There are two types of RFID tags. One is Passive and other Active. Passive RFID tags consume less power and are cost-effective. The tags will consume power only when they receive a signal from an RFID antenna or reader. They are widely used in item-level tracking. Active RFID tags (beacons and transponders) are larger in size and expensive and cover a range of 100m. The prior wake up at pre-set intervals while the latter works only when a radio signal is received, resulting in extended power saving.

GPS Asset Tracking Methods

GPS

One of the best methods as this is a wonderful technique to track any size of an asset across any place, be it sea or land. Starting right from small assets to heavy machinery, tracking the position of the asset is absolutely seamless. Highly suited for tracking a mixed set of assets that involves both small and heavy asset types.

IoT Asset Tracking Methods

IoT (Internet of Things)

If you’re looking for a smart asset tracking system that can pinpoint even a small asset within a project zone, coupling the IoT devices with other technologies like GPS or RFID will make your job absolutely easier. The best advantage of using IoT is it can be used even in challenging environments where humans can’t invade. The lower power consumption and higher battery life are other two positive factors that make IoT technology a most sought-after one in today’s market.

Asset Tracking Methods-06

NFC (Near Field Communication)

NFC can be called as an extension of RFID as both use electromagnetic induction for data transmission. However, NFC’s ability to act as both reader and transmitter makes it a better choice than RFID. While RFID can be just used to track assets, NFC can provide more details about an asset with a tap on the smartphone. However, this is one of the under-rated technique by most companies.

Mentioned above are a few interesting methods that can be used to track assets within a business environment. The need for the right asset tracking method varies from business to business. While a few may opt for an RFID tag, others may settle with Barcodes. It all depends on the unique asset tracking required for that particular business.